Figuring this out, I learned (via a California activist) that the Coral Academy of Science is a Gulen-affiliated charter school. Gulen is the largest charter operator in the country with 140 in 26 different states. The schools deny that they are part of the Gulen movement and yet the evidence is that they are. Here's a good site to explain the issue. There have been huge issues over these schools in Hawaii, Utah, Georgia, Ohio, Arizona and Texas (which wants them out of the state). The FBI and the Departments of Labor and Education are investigating them.
They hire mostly Turkish teachers, saying there are not enough American teachers available.
From the NY Times. A lengthy article from City Journal about the history of Gulen.
Learning about and examining any charter operator who has charter schools in other states IS part of the wording in I-1240. I will be letting the Charter Commission know about this issue.
End of update.
Plus three applications to Spokane School District. The 22 applications are out of 28 letters of intent to the Charter Commission.
The ones that dropped out appear to be:
- Bilingual Charter Academy (Russian) in Clark County
- Path to Success in Longview
- Tacoma Preparatory Academy
- Education Academy of Washington, cyber-charter
- Inspire Development Education Academy,location unclear
- Finnish First, Yakima
- CAL Elementary (Seattle)
- Cedar River Academy (Enumclaw)
- Coral Academy of Science (not sure; was not on list of letters of intent)
- Evergreen Leadership Academy (not sure; was not on list of letters of intent) - looks to be a military-type charter
- Excel Public Charter School (Kent)
- First Place (Seattle)
- Green Dot Public Schools-Washington State of Washington(Tacoma)
- King County Academy (Seattle)
- Out of the Box Learning Studio (Seattle/South King County)
- Pioneer School (Mason/Thurston Counties)
- Rainier Prep (Highline)
- SOAR Academy (Tacoma)
- Sports in Schools Team Charter (Seattle)
- Summit Public Schools: Olympus (Tacoma)
- Summit Public Schools: Sierra (Seattle)
- Sunnyside Charter Academy (Sunnyside)
- The Village Academy (JBLM)
- Washington STEM (Seattle)
- Yakima Academy (Yakima)
The applications are not yet available for review.
Spokane School District has these three: Pride Prep, 6-12 school; Pioneer School (private trying to convert for highly capable learners); Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In other charter school news, Tacoma School District seems to have flip-flopped again on the issue. Now their School Board says they are NOT going to apply next year to be a charter authorizer. They seem to be unease on the clarity of their role as authorizers and waiting for the outcome of the lawsuit against the charter law.